A-2 Throat Clasps - WTF?

CoopDog

Active Member
So, I bought my first A-2. It fits near-perfectly. The throat clasp even works and it fits me in the neck. However, it is VERY difficult to fasten the clasp. I cannot believe that ANYONE would EVER use that throat clasp for ANY reason in every day use. WTF? How did they come up with that design? Was it for use in open cockpits? Fine, but it is too hard to get clasped.
 

crism1

Member
I have a ww2 british blouse that has those clasps and, same as you, the jacket fits me perfectly. Even for me those pesky things are super hard to attach but i never do anyway. They are made with bendable metals, I think with use and practice they get easier to close.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Good question! I believe it is a result of the A-1 jacket design and open and or non-heated cockpits. There appears to have been an evolution in the design to close off the neck for warmth. It started with the fold up collar of the A-1, transitioned to a snap across design with the A.G Spalding X-2 test jacket. Then came the large wool hook and fold up leather collar with the loop of the Goldsmith A-2, and then finally came the final design of the nickel throat hook with the SAT in 1932.

It is clear that they wanted a means of closing off the neck in all the jackets and so it was included in the specs.

-Jay
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
In the Hell-Bent for Leather book by Nelson & Parsons they said a number of companies submitted possible open cockpit flight jacket designs in the fall of 1930, but that a committee took bits of each to create the A-2, so no single company or person was responsible for the A-2 design. I did read an interesting article in one of the aircraft magazines from the time and they noted mail carriers were having a much greater life expectancy since they started wearing better garments. Hard to believe, but the A-2 used the new invention called a "zipper" and open cockpits were the norm at the time.
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
wish I could find it but it seems like I saw a vintage pic of a fighter pilot wearing his A-2 with the neck collar clasp in place and I thought to myself "how the hell did he do that?!" lol! wish I had kept the pic but its been a couple of year ago at least... maybe If you had an oversized jacket for your build you could pull it off.. like, needed a 38 but got a 44 and you weighed 130 lbs.
 

billwong

New Member
I have never been able to use the clasp in any A2.

That is until i got the Headwind Goldsmith last week. The neck opening was finally big enough. What really helped was the placement of the clasp on the collar stand. I am trying to get use to the clownish collar on an otherwise great looking jacket.
 

CoopDog

Active Member
I fiddled with the clasps. I bent the female out a bit and squashed the male in a bit. Now they fasten. But even though the collar fits nicely around my neck when closed, I doubt that I would ever want to wear it clasped.
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
I have never been able to use the clasp in any A2.

That is until i got the Headwind Goldsmith last week. The neck opening was finally big enough. What really helped was the placement of the clasp on the collar stand. I am trying to get use to the clownish collar on an otherwise great looking jacket.
How about a few pictures of your new Goldsmith :D
 

ausreenactor

Well-Known Member
So, I bought my first A-2. It fits near-perfectly. The throat clasp even works and it fits me in the neck. However, it is VERY difficult to fasten the clasp. I cannot believe that ANYONE would EVER use that throat clasp for ANY reason in every day use. WTF? How did they come up with that design? Was it for use in open cockpits? Fine, but it is too hard to get clasped.
It's a fine motor skills test.
 
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